Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare $1,000,000?

Rather then delve into the silliness of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force "hoax" that has seemingly turned Boston into Nazi-era Paris, I'll share President 31 percent's warnings to the American people about CEOs and corporate board members to crush the spirits of us little people a bit more slowly. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

NEW YORK - President Bush challenged corporate America on Wednesday on the lavish salaries and bonuses paid to chief executives, saying their pay should be tied to how much they help their companies' shareholders.

"America's corporate boardrooms must step up to their responsibilities," Bush said in a speech on Wall Street addressing the state of the U.S. economy. A few executives' extravagant pay packages, recently in the news, have disgusted millions of U.S. workers who will never come near such deals.

"You need to pay attention to the executive compensation packages that you approve," he said. "You need to show the world that American businesses are a model of transparency and good corporate governance."

Bush's comments came during a White House push to get people focused (distract us into thinking we are in great fiscal shape) on the economy at a time when other issues command attention — including the Iraq
war and all the candidates running for his job. He spoke at Federal Hall, a venerable site just blocks from where terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center. Bush caused a frenzy with an unannounced stop on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, joining Ronald Reagan as the only presidents to do so during trading hours.

Too bad the dumb brute didn't wait until October. That way he'd have given this talk on the 20th anniversary of Saint Reagan's stock market crash.

Attention to corporate pay has been fueled by some notable cases. Recently, Home Depot chief executive Bob Nardelli was earning an average of $25.7 million a year — excluding stock options — before he was forced out in a furor over his compensation. He left with a severance package worth about $210 million.

The New York Stock Exchange faced an uproar over former CEO Richard Grasso's $187.5 million severance package. Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, now governor, sued NYSE board members over the package Grasso got when he quit as chairman in 2003.

Beyond targeting golden pay packages, Bush reiterated the themes of his economic message these days — trade, health care, energy and education. All require help from a Democratic Congress, which is fashioning its own plans for a mainstream domestic agenda.

"Criticizing CEO pay won't do anything to raise the wages of average Americans," said Sen. Charles Schumer
, D-N.Y., the new chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "Middle-class families would be best served if the president joined us in crafting bold policy solutions that address the real insecurity they feel in our changing economy."

Jesus, Chuck, are you, like, stupid or something? You couldn't just do the simple thing and be quiet so Preznit Brian Dead could hang himself with his ignorance. No, you had to make him the second dumbest guy in the room with that thoughtless, callous remark. Are you trying to out-Lieberman Lieberman?

Sure, criticizing CEO pay in and of itself isn't going to do a thing, but here's why criticizing CEO pay is important. My company's CEO has seen his compensation rise from a little over a million Greenspans a year since 2001 to over 58 million in 2006. In the meantime, I, who have been at my company longer than he has (I've been there since 1995) have gone from an average raise of 6-10 percent a year from 1995-2000, to this: 2001, no raise. 2002, no raise. 2003, no raise, but a shitload of useless stock options. By the way, since this officer took over, our stock has plummeted to 1/8 what it commanded before he started driving the bus. 2004, 3 percent, 2005, 3 percent, 2006, 3 percent. Now, I'm pretty good with figures, and I can tell you with complete and utter confidence that my CEO wasn't going no three goddamn years with no fucking raises.

Oh yes, and if that wasn't amusing enough, our most recent set of layoffs threw 1,300 people into the ranks of the unemployed between Thanksgiving and lunch time today. These holiday surprises have been an annual event, courtesy of the ascent of this man to CEO in 2000. I, and most of my colleagues, feel as if we are living in a real-life version of the classic cult film Office Space.

Trying to work with this idiot of a President is not going to work. This is the same ass-clown who wants to kill hikes in the minimum wage. So, in closing, Chuck, please, wake the fuck up, remember that you are a Democrat, and get your ass back to working for us drones.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ancient Village Uncovered Near Stonehenge

Today, the National Geographic Society announced that an ancient village was uncovered near Stonehenge, and it appears to have been a contemporary site to the mysterious monument. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

WASHINGTON - A village of small houses that may have sheltered the builders of the mysterious Stonehenge — or people attending festivals there — has been found by archaeologists studying the stone circle in England. Eight of the houses, with central hearths, have been excavated, and there may be as many as 25 of them, Mike Parker Pearson said Tuesday at a briefing organized by the National Geographic Society.

The ancient houses are at a site known as Durrington Walls, about two miles from Stonehenge. It is also the location of a wooden version of the stone circle.

The village was carbon dated to about 2600 B.C., about the same time Stonehenge was built. The Great Pyramid in Egypt was built at about the same time, said Parker Pearson of Sheffield University.

Julian Thomas of Manchester University noted that both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls have avenues connecting them to the Avon River, indicating a pattern of movement between the sites. "Clearly, this is a place that was of enormous importance," he said of the new find.

The researchers speculated that Durrington Walls was a place for the living and Stonehenge — where cremated remains have been found — was a cemetery and memorial.

Stone tools, animal bones, arrowheads and other artifacts were uncovered in the village. Remains of pigs indicated they were about nine months old when killed, which would mark a midwinter festival. Stonehenge was oriented to face the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset, while the wooden circle at Durrington Walls faced the midwinter sunrise and midsummer sunset.

Durrington appears "very much a place of the living," Parker Pearson said. In contrast, no one ever lived at the stone circle at Stonehenge, which was the largest cemetery in Britain of its time. Stonehenge is thought to contain 250 cremations.

The research was supported by the National Geographic Society, Arts & Humanities Research Council, English Heritage and Wessex Archaeology.

It looks like we may be one step closer to finding out who built this fascinating structure. I've never been there, but I've been to Knowth and Newgrange in Ireland, and these places are just as ancient, and just as incomprehensible when one considers the amount of sophistication that went into the work that produced these wonders.

Full Story

Monday, January 29, 2007

Bing Devine, Former Cardinals GM (1916-2007)

Major League Baseball lost a legend this past weekend as Bing Devine, former general manager, and architect of three National League pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals teams, died at age 90. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

ST. LOUIS - Bing Devine, the St. Louis general manager who helped build Cardinals teams that won three National League pennants and two World Series in the 1960s, died Saturday. He was 90.

Vaughan P. "Bing" Devine, was general manager of the Cardinals from 1958 to 1964 and again from 1968-78, and was credited with acquiring Hall of Fame players Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. The Brock trade with the Cubs, which cost the Cardinals sore-armed pitcher Ernie Broglio, is considered his best.

I'll say. Broglio was an 18-game winner in 1963, had won 70 games for the Cards (including 21 in 1960), but was just 3-5 when he was shipped to the Cubs for a young, speedy outfielder named Lou Brock. Brock had struggled as a Cub, but he quickly began to turn his career around. He stole 33 bases and hit .348 for the remainder of the season, as he became the best base stealer in the NL until 1979 (he broke Maury Wills stolen base mark in 1974 with 118, and retired with the career standard of 938 until Rickey Henderson came along). Brock also hit .391 in 21 World Series games with 14 steals (only having been caught twice) as the Cardinals catalyst. Broglio went 7-19 as a Cub, and was out of major league baseball after the 1966 season. Yeah, I'd say Bing got the best of that deal...

Many of the players Devine acquired led the Cardinals to World Series titles in 1964 and 1967 and the pennant in 1968, among them Curt Flood, Dick Groat, Bill White and Julian Javier.

That was a monster of a team. Brock, Gibson, a later acquisition Orlando Cepeda, and the young Steve Carlton are all Hall of Famers. Bill White, Curt Flood and Ken Boyer aren't too far away from HOF-quality themselves. Christ, Tim McCarver was the catcher for these guys, but you'd never know it the way he gushes over the Yankees and Derek Jeter. I wish Timmeh had a little Joe Morgan in him, that way we'd hear more about what a great team that was (and then probably get quickly sick of it, just as we do when Joe shamelessly drops Big Red Machine-Johnny Bench-Tony Perez into all his broadcasts).

There is a terrific book, October 1964 by Bill Halberstam that outlines the respective league pennant races through the eyes of both the Cardinals and the Yankees. It showcases how the men mentioned above matured into stars and clutch performers just as the great Yankee team was falling apart as age and injury began to catch up with icons like Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Roger Maris all at once.

The book also details how Devine put that team together, but how that first championship in 1964 was a bittersweet one as the Cardinals got off to a slow start, with Devine having been fired in the middle of the season, and replaced by co-GM Branch Rickey (who was, according to the book, trying to undermine Devine's efforts). Obviously, the Cards brass realized their mistake as they brought him back into the fold a few years later.

There are two sets of Cardinals clubs in my lifetime that I consider classic baseball teams: Whitey Herzog's Runnin' Redbirds of the 1980s and the 1960s teams that Devine helped to build. Here's a salute to a true baseball man and legend - Bing Devine.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

CD Review: Tribe of Gypsies - Dweller on the Threshold

Dweller on the Threshold is Tribe of Gypsies long-awaited follow-up to 2000's Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Since that release, band leader/guitarist/producer Roy Z has been busy with other projects. He produced, wrote and played on Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson's solo albums, and those of Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford, to name just a couple of projects. Apparently Roy's busy schedule was too much for some of the Gypsies, as there have been a bunch of lineup changes.

Gone is vocalist Gregory Analla (though he makes a guest appearance on one track here), replaced by Chas West. Gone is drummer David Ingraham (though he makes guest appearances on three tracks here), replaced by David Moreno. Also gone is bassist Juan A. Perez, replaced by Christian Byrne. The rest of the band, Roy Z on guitar, Ray Rodriguez on keyboards and Elvis Balladares on percussion is on hand for this outing.

There are 14 songs on this baby, so let's dive right in...

Big Sky Presence starts things off with about 90 seconds of atmospheric keyboards, percussion and guitar that goes into Ride On, a mid-tempo rocker with urgent verses and slamming choruses. West starts off well here with a soaring vocal performance. Roy Z plays a short, multi-tracked solo before the keys, drums and percussion batter the sonic landscape to bits. This song has single written all over it.

Desolate Chile is another mid-tempo tune with a deep groove punctuated by the strong bass and percussion. Roy Z's solo and fills winds their way through the beat, but never completely dominate. West's vocals are strong here as well. Original ToG drummer David Ingraham plays the drums on this track.

Stop Bombing Each Other is a slow, rhythmic song dominated by a strong bass line and deep percussion. Guest Penny Wanzo delivers some nice backup vocals as an urgent counterpoint to West's words of warning about the futility of war.

Halos is a mostly acoustic ballad, and West shows that he is up to the task of singing in a more gentle voice. Roy Z provides some nice understated fills on both acoustic and electric guitars.

Zoot Suit Mardi Gras is an upbeat party song that has a groove reminiscent of "Lowrider" by War. Tetsuya Nakamura is featured here on the harmonica as the bass, drums and percussion provide the pump. Nicol Mecfrova does the singing on this track, and she sort of sounds like the singer for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Ingraham plays the drums on this track.

Go Your Way is a rambling mid-tempo rocker that features former ToG vocalist Gregory Analla on backing vocals and guitar. West is also strong here, showing a growling fierceness in his voice. The rhythm section provides a strong background for the gliding, multi-tracked Roy Z guitar solo. Ingraham plays drums on this track as well.

After the Summer starts as another acoustic ballad. Like in Halos, West shows the gentle side of his voice, but here it is tinged with more than a bit of sadness. Roy Z takes a nice acoustic solo in the middle before West and the band bring it all back home.

Flying Tigers, Crying Dragons is an instrumental that starts off with some understated guitar over the haunting organ. The bass, drums and percussion quickly kick in as Roy Z takes over with a multi-tracked intro to some fiery licks and solos. Roy finally begins to dominate with his trademark burning guitar, as he makes it cry with slow bends, then turns it up with lightning fast runs. Too bad the song ends so suddenly just over three minutes.

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love is a cover of a Van Halen song that ToG makes all theirs. West takes a subdued approach, similar to that used by Rob Thomas on Santana's "Smooth". There is a distinctly Latin feel to the piano, drums and percussion. The backing vocals, sung in Spanish, punctuate the choruses. Roy Z drives the main riff along with Byrne's pounding bass line. Elvis and guest Sal Rodriguez (on timbales) provide plenty of punch on Latin percussion, especially on the ending riffs.

Never Will Be Mine is another ballad that shows West in a longing vocal mood. The bass line is strong under Roy Z's simple, crying solo and fills.

La Hora is sung completely in Spanish over a churning, heavy riff that goes from grinding to soaring. The atmosphere then changes as Roy Z takes a long, fiery solo over the organ and manic drums and percussion. The whole band is in top form here as Z loses his mind in the fury of his solo that calls up images of Hendrix and Santana.

Hands to Eternity starts as an up-tempo acoustic number with popping percussion and bass over the crying organ before the slamming chorus driven by Roy Z's heavy riff. West's voice soars from mid-range in the verses to a high urgency in the choruses. Roy Z takes care of business with a chaotic solo that showcases all of his considerable talent as he glides, speed picks and wails with overdriven effects before the song settles back into the groove.

En El Mar is a Latin percussion showcase that ends the CD. This track is also sung completely in Spanish.

It's too bad we had to wait so long for this CD, but it was well worth the wait as the songs are strong, and the individual performances are ridiculously tight throughout. Chas West has proven himself a worthy successor to Mr. Analla. The rhythm section of Byrne and Moreno picks up where Perez and Ingraham left off. Elvis is his usual quirky self, while Rodriguez provides plenty of fire and atmosphere. Roy Z is simply amazing when he lets it rip, but he also has the discipline to know when to let the song guide him and hold back when necessary. I've been waiting since 1998's Revolucion 13 for these guys to become HUGE. Maybe Dweller on the Threshold will finally make that happen.

Tribe of Gypsies Web Site

Thursday, January 25, 2007

2,500-Year-Old Olmec City Uncovered in Mexico

Archaeologists have uncovered a 2,500-year-old Olmec city near Mexico City. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

MEXICO CITY - A 2,500-year-old city influenced by the Olmecs, often referred to as the "mother culture" of Mesoamerica, has been discovered hundreds of miles away from the Olmecs' Gulf coast territory, archaeologists said.

The remains of Zazacatla are providing insight into the early arrival of advanced civilizations in central Mexico, while also providing lessons about the risks to ruins posed by modern development that now cover much of the ancient city.

Archaeologist Giselle Canto said Wednesday that two statues and architectural details at the site, 25 miles south of Mexico City, indicate that the inhabitants of Zazacatla adopted Olmec styles when they changed from a simple, egalitarian society to a more complex, hierarchical one.

"When their society became stratified, the new rulers needed emblems ... to justify their rule over people who used to be their equals," Canto said of the inhabitants, who may not have been ethnically Olmec, but apparently revered the culture as the most prestigious.

Zazacatla covered less than one square mile between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C. But much of it has been covered by housing and commercial development extending from Cuernavaca, a city popular with tourists just seven miles north. "There are 10 housing developments, a gas station, a highway and a commercial building on the site now," Canto said.

Authorities hope to excavate and preserve other pre-Hispanic sites before they are forgotten or covered over. Since excavation of Zazacatla began last year, archaeologists have unearthed six buildings, and two sculptures of what appear to be Olmec-style priests. The sculptures appear to have headdresses portraying the jaguar, which the Olmecs revered, and other symbols of status and authority. The Olmecs dominated areas around the Gulf coast states of Veracruz and Tabasco from 1,200 B.C. to about 400 B.C.

This story clearly shows that ancient America had a hell of a lot of people in it. More, in fact, than we've been taught about over the years. Not only that, but they were quite sophisticated--unlike the traditional portrayals of bloodthirsty savages we've been led to believe.

This particular story speaks to the influence of the Olmecs on the non-Olmec inhabitants of the land in those times, and can be construed as being analagous to any of the European empires with regard to the way the Greeks and Romans influenced the peoples they encountered far from their home bases.

Let's hope that these researchers can uncover more evidence like this before modern development wipes it all out.

Full Story

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Australia Day!

Friday, for those of here in the United States, where I sit typing this, it will be Australia Day, but, the Aussies, especially my friends in the Sydney area, start out 16 hours ahead of us this time of year, and will begin their celebrations of this national holiday Thursday morning at 8:00 AM EST. Here's the Wikipedia entry about the occasion:

26 January 1788 was the date on which the First Fleet, under Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove and set up the Colony of New South Wales. Formal possession, including the reading of Phillip's Commission, took place on 7 February.

By 1808, the day that the Rum Corps arrested Governor Bligh, it was being celebrated as 'First Landing' or 'Foundation Day'. In 1818 (the 30th anniversary) Governor Macquarie had a 30-gun salute at Dawes Point and gave government workers a holiday - a tradition that was soon followed by banks and other public offices.

In 1888 all colonial capitals (with the exception of Adelaide) celebrated 'Anniversary Day' and by 1935 all states of Australia were celebrating January 26 as Australia Day (although it was still known as Anniversary Day in NSW).

The 1938 sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of British settlement in New South Wales in 1788 was widely celebrated. Preparations began in 1936 with the formation of a Celebrations Council. In that year, NSW was the only state to abandon the traditional long weekend and the annual Anniversary Day public holiday was held on the actual anniversary day - Wednesday 26 January.

In 1946 the Commonwealth and State governments agreed to unify the celebrations on 26 January as 'Australia Day', although the public holiday was instead taken on the Monday closest to 26 January.

Since 1994 all states and territories have taken the Australia Day public holiday on 26 January.

I had the pleasure of celebrating Australia Day 2005 at the source as part of my three-week sojourn to the suburb of North Ryde as part of a wage-slavery training/hiring assignment. North Ryde is located about a half-hour west of Sydney, and the pleasure of being outdoors on Circular Quay in Sydney Harbor with temps hitting close to 90 (32-33 Celsius) was amazing.

The harbor, already a place teeming with activity, was a mass of humanity and activity as the many boat shows and activities of retelling the story of the original landing took place. The only other activity of its kind to which I can compare it was when the Tall Ships event came to Boston Harbor years ago.

Anyway, to all the friends I met Down Under, have a terrific Australia Day, and be assured that I will be back amongst you as soon as I can manage it!

Australia Day History

The Future of the Penny -- Is a Copper Rush Coming?

Hola Amigos,

Today I found a story that touches on the future of the penny as a form of currency in these United States. Yahoo News Reuters excerpt:

A potential shortage of coins in the United States could mean all those pennies in your piggy bank could be worth five times their current value soon, says an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Sharply rising prices of metals such as copper and nickel have meant the face value of pennies and nickels are worth less than the material that they are made of, increasing the risk that speculators could melt the coins and sell them for a profit.

I can see it now. Homemade smelting units will replace the homemade whiskey distillery as the targets of the New Prohibition...

Such a risk spurred the U.S. Mint last month to issue regulations limiting melting and exporting of the coins.
But Francois Velde, senior economist at the Chicago Fed, argued in a recent research note that prohibitions by the Mint would unlikely deter serious speculators who already have piled up the coinage.

The best solution, Velde said, would be to "rebase" the penny by making it worth five cents rather than one cent. Doing so would increase the amount of five-cent coins in circulation and do away with the almost worthless one cent coin.

"History shows that when coins are worth melting, they disappear," Velde wrote. "Rebasing the penny would ... debase the five-cent piece and put it safely away from its melting point," he added.

Raw material prices in general have skyrocketed in the last five years, sending copper prices to record highs of $4.16 a pound in May. Copper pennies number 154 to a pound. Prices have since come down from that peak but could still trek higher, Velde said.

Since 1982, the Mint began making copper-coated zinc pennies to prevent metals speculators from taking advantage of lofty base metal prices. Though the penny is losing its importance -- it is worth only four seconds of the average American's work time, assuming a 40-hour workweek -- the Mint is making more and more pennies.

Velde said that since 1982 the Mint has produced 910 pennies for every American. Last year there were 8.23 billion pennies in circulation, according to the Mint. "These factors suggest that, sooner or later, the penny will join the farthing (one-quarter of a penny) and the hapenny (one-half of a penny) in coin museums," he said.

Ken Kanniff, Connecticut's Most Wanted Gangsta, is the point man on this topic. For the past several years Ken has not only warned us of this impending shortage, but has begun to collect a large amount of the pre-1982 Abe Lincoln coins in anticipation of such an announcement as this one.

My first observation about the homemade smelting units notwithstanding, there is a serious environmental impact dynamic that comes into play here. If people insist on melting pennies, it stands to reason that much of the post-1982 zinc filled coins will be part of the mix. The question becomes what to do with the zinc, assuming of course that the homemade smelters know enough, and know how to separate the copper from the zinc.

In any event, Mr. Kanniff is poised and ready to become the Copper King of Connecticut, finally shedding the gangtsa image, once and for all!

Full Story Link

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Trot Nixon Signs With Indians.

As if we didn't know that the signing of JD Drew to that hideously expensive contact in December signified the end of the Trot Nixon era in Red Sox history, it has become official as the Cleveland Indians have signed the former Sox outfielder to a one-year, $3 million deal. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

CLEVELAND - After agreeing to sign with Cleveland, Trot Nixon turned an important task over to his 5-year-old son. I let Chase pick the number," Nixon recalled. "He first picked 32, and I was like, why?" "Because you're 32 years old," Chase said. "Well, in two months, I'm going to be 33," his father replied.

With that, Nixon decided to wear No. 33 with the Indians, who agreed Friday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the oft-injured outfielder. Nixon wore No. 7 with the Red Sox, the team he had spent his entire major league career with. No. 33 is just fine with him. "That was my high school baseball number," he said.

Nixon, who will be joined in Cleveland by former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke, batted .268 with eight homers and 52 RBIs in 114 games last season. He was sidelined from July 31 to Sept. 4 because of a strained right biceps, which he first hurt in June, and a staph infection. Nixon has gone on the DL in each of the last three seasons, including two stints in 2004, and has not had 500 at-bats since 2002.

"Obviously, I don't want go out and play hurt and eventually hurt the team," he said. "No. 1 it's going to effect the team. No. 2, it's just going to put me more in a hole, meaning having to go on the DL."

He remembered back to when he hurt his back in his first year of professional baseball. "I don't think I regained my swing for like three years because I was scared," he said.

Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro said the Indians wanted Nixon for his experience and the club did its medical due diligence on him. "We felt comfortable that with the burden we're looking to put on him, we felt comfortable with his health," Shapiro said.

During 11 seasons with the Red Sox, Nixon hit .278 with 133 homers and 523 RBIs in 982 games. In 2001, he was selected the club's MVP after batting .306 with 28 homers and 86 RBIs in 134 games.

Nixon will likely bat second and platoon in right field with Casey Blake, who also will see time at first. Shin-Soo Choo had been set to platoon with Blake. Cleveland had talked with Nixon's agent last fall, then backed off after agreeing to an $11.5 million, three-year deal with David Dellucci.

"It gives us a tremendous amount of depth that should protect us against injury and poor performance," Shapiro said. Nixon can earn $2 million in performance bonuses: $250,000 each for 200 plate appearances and every additional 50 plate appearances through 550.

I remember when Nixon was the Sox number one draft pick in 1993. The Sox brass told everyone that Nixon would become a perennial 20-homer, 20-steal guy with solid defense. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. He struggled in his first couple of seasons, but manager Jimy Williams stuck with him, and hitting coach Jim Rice (who should be in the Hall of Fame) helped him get his swing in order. Nixon did enjoy three 20-homer seasons (2001-2003 with 27, 24 and 28 respectively), but the last three seasons saw him hit a total of 27 homers, mostly because of the missed time due to the injuries outlined in the excerpt.

Nixon was a no-nonsense player who seemed to play with an angry intensity that the Sox seldom see in their players. He had a knack for big hits, especially against the hated Yankees (and particularly against Roger Clemens). His bases-loaded two-run double off of Jason Marquis on a 3-0 count in Game Four of the 2004 World Series increased the Sox lead in that clinching game from 1-0 to 3-0 as the Curse was finally broken.

The future in right field now belongs to a man who is a mere year-and-a-half younger, but who is just as injury prone as his predecessor. I can see the Sox looking at a guy who has missed as much time as he has, and think that, as he enters his mid-30s, he might not get less injury prone. But why throw him aside and replace him with a guy who is not only just as likely to get hurt (or still be hurt), but whose attitude makes Manny Ramirez look like Ryan Freel?

Anyway, good luck to you Trot. You and your filthy hat always gave it your best!

Full Story

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Have You Seen Me Lately?

Hola Amigos,

I'm back at the keyboard after a hectic holiday season. Of course, I come back and get ready to do some business, and what do I find but that Blogger put out a new beta version that didn't seem to want to cooperate with me. Then, a bunch of wage slavery organization requirements crept up to keep me from better exploring how to fix these problems.

I seem to be past most of this shit for now, so I'm sending this little post out to let all six of my readers know I'm still alive, and will be updating this baby as best I can. Hell, there's a lot of shit for me to catch up on as 2007 stumbles out of the gates. Anyway, I changed the format and added the excellent Fire Joe Morgan website to my links list. Because Joe Morgan really should be fired. Seriously. He's a Hall of Famer who says almost as many idiotic things as Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy does.

Quick Thoughts:

1. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken both deserve their respective elections to baseball's Hall of Fame. Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven and Alan Trammell should also be in, and no, I'm not touching the Big Mac "controversy," thank you very little.

2. This year's NFL playoffs have been characterized by sloppy play and idiotic actions by individual players that have led to HUGE penalties. Is this the best the NFL can do? Has the desire for parity driven the excellence out of what is supposed to be a showcase of the best teams? Or has the NFL caught whatever disease inflicted the 2006 World Series? I swear, I still refuse to believe that actually happened. Let's just move on...

3. Mitt Romney is a clown. How about that billion dollar deficit you left us? Balanced the budget my arse. I can't wait to here the screams of agony from the trolls about what a commie new Governor Deval Patrick is as he attempts to straighten out the fiscal mess that Governor Absentee Showboater left is here in the Bay State. Thanks a pantload Mitt, and say goodbye to your silly Presidential aspirations.

4. Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy STILL doesn't get it. Iraq is a bloody failure--HIS bloody failure. It is good to see that some members of his own party, like Senator Chuck Hagel are openly ridiculing this stupid "surge" idea of sacrificing more of our troops into this disaster. Even better, it has exposed idiots like Senators John McCain and Joementum Lieberman as the deluded simpletons they are.

5. What the eff is the deal with DVD region codes? Do we really need this? To whom do I complain to straighten this shit out? Does anybody have any ideas?

Oh well, that's all for now. I have a copy of the latest Tribe of Gypsies CD, Dweller on the Threshold, and will be posting a review as soon as I can.